Cutting Edge
Joyce Carol Oates pulls out all the stops in this chilling female-centric noir collection featuring brand-new writing from Margaret Atwood, Aimee Bender, Edwidge Danticat, and more.Joyce Carol Oates, a queenpin of the noir genre, has brought her keen and discerning eye to the curation of an outstanding anthology of brand-new top-shelf short stories (and poems by Margaret Atwood!). While bad men are not always the victims in these tales, they get their due often enough to satisfy readers who are sick and tired of the gendered status quo, or who just want to have a little bit of fun at the expense of a crumbling patriarchal society. This stylistically diverse collection will make you squirm in your seat, stay up at night, laugh out loud, and inevitably wish for more.Featuring brand-new stories by: Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood (poems), Valerie Martin, Aimee Bender, Edwidge Danticat, Sheila Kohler, S.A. Solomon, S.J. Rozan, Lucy Taylor, Cassandra Khaw, Bernice L. McFadden, Jennifer Morales, Elizabeth McCracken, Livia Llewellyn, Lisa Lim, and Steph Cha.Cover and interior art by Laurel Hausler.

Cutting Edge Details

TitleCutting Edge
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 5th, 2019
PublisherAkashic Books
Rating
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Crime

Cutting Edge Review

  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    One of These Nights by Livia Llewellyn“It’s time to get wet” in Tacoma young women, friends, and a father in car about to go to a pool.The girls go for a swim, some friends just go too far and then there is the rivalry and stepping into adulthood, but they are still fifteen partaking in things that are just not right and fitting of an age of fifteen.Contained within girls in a friendship, being favorites and new ones interloping, along with leadership and toxic rivalry and something else also One of These Nights by Livia Llewellyn“It’s time to get wet” in Tacoma young women, friends, and a father in car about to go to a pool.The girls go for a swim, some friends just go too far and then there is the rivalry and stepping into adulthood, but they are still fifteen partaking in things that are just not right and fitting of an age of fifteen.Contained within girls in a friendship, being favorites and new ones interloping, along with leadership and toxic rivalry and something else also you must read to discover.The mentioned complexities and other terrible fates skillfully crafted noir tale drawing the reader along in this compelling flowing deadly tale.I am sure Tacoma has seen better times.Thief By Steph ChaMourners in Koreatown, a gathering after murder of a twenty-one year old.The scene opens with the feast after the burial and a mother in the whirlwind of loss of her first born, one she tells, “she would have traded anyone for Isaac.”Then there is talk of money, of all things a mother didn’t need that.Family tragedy and drama with personal and social ramifications, something Steph Cha writes about so well recently this year with her debut novel, ‘Your House Will Pay.’A History of the World in Five Objects by S.J. RozanIn an apartment a women doing usual tasks but something still weighing heart and mind tender and traumatic past returning running its course with memories in the apartment. Empathic writing visceral with all right crafting and details with devastating effect, a short must-read.“It was quite some time before she was able to touch a knife again, after that day.”The Hunger by Lisa LimAvoiding drive-bys and then being butchered and found in suitcase. Lilly is not happy of this end. There is dark humor present and visible in this excerpt:“So no. She wasn’t about to cry. Tears were for the weak. She had clothes to fold, mouths to feed, and a husband to bury. She didn’t have the luxury to mourn. So she smoked. And thought of food instead.”Death and hunger in a unique telling.Too Many Lunatics by Lucy TaylorTerrible things a young women had to face and witness, with call of sanity and reason with all the terribleness weighing, what would it be, one act a claw hammer can do.This one about abuse and protecting kin, two sisters one caring for another.One in denial another an avenger wanting to protect and provide safety, the tale leaves one pondering facts, hallmarks of nicely done tale one that keeps you thinking, even if only for short time after.An Early Specimen By Elizabeth McCrackenInteresting perception and words combined evoking the snapshot of the scene like this one:“She remembered reading about another museum across the river, of wax anatomical models from the eighteenth century. Flayed women and lonely hearts, literal lonely hearts by themselves in glass cabinets, next to the lonely livers and lonely lungs.A museum of waxworks would have to be kept cool, surely, even in the Old World.Before she’d come to Italy, she’d been in the woods, but now she was in the jungle, the arms and legs of other people like vines that threatened to wrap around her.”She may find a snippet of happiness, the tourist, in her wonderings and excursion into a museum.Impala by S. A. SolomonA women’s heart at battle with many things with men, male evils the most, and the legacy of her mother whose been seen as uneducated but was not in her light and weighs up and tells of her existence being dumped young and then having to fight through field of interloping things and one particular drive in an impala this tale takes you through.Prose potent, and poetic.“She hadn’t been asked to be born a girl. She would have preferred to be male. Not because she didn’t feel “female.” But because males were in charge.”“The detectives said it looked like a gang symbol, and after all, she was the girlfriend of Panda, the “alleged” leader of the local clique of a notorious international criminal gang the authorities had a hard-on for.”
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    Editor Joyce Carol Oates presents fifteen short stories and a small collection of noir poems. Oates’ introduction is worth the price of the book because it is stunningly written, and a precise and concise description of the state of noir writing and an introduction to today’s noir written by women writers. In her introduction, Oates points out that for too long noir has been male dominated both because it was the domain by men and because men are the heroes. Oates also points out that the times Editor Joyce Carol Oates presents fifteen short stories and a small collection of noir poems. Oates’ introduction is worth the price of the book because it is stunningly written, and a precise and concise description of the state of noir writing and an introduction to today’s noir written by women writers. In her introduction, Oates points out that for too long noir has been male dominated both because it was the domain by men and because men are the heroes. Oates also points out that the times are changing and women are beginning to hold their own in the genre. She proves it with the stories she has chosen to present in this collection.If you love noir, but are tired of the men winning all the time, then this book is for you. If you’ve ever wondered where the women writers are in this genre, this is the book for you because you’ll undoubtedly read writers you already know and learn about some you don’t know.My thanks to Akashic Books and Edelweiss for an eARC.
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  • Glenda
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI had mixed feelings about this collection. Some of the stories were total stand-outs ( Assassin by Joyce Carol Oates, A History of the World in Five Objects by S. J. Rozan, and Too Many Lunatics by Lucy Taylor are the first ones to come to mind), but there were others I just didn't care for. Not that they weren't well-written, I just didn't connect with them the same way I did with the others. Overall a strong showing and one I would still recommend, even with my lack of enthusiasm 3.5 starsI had mixed feelings about this collection. Some of the stories were total stand-outs ( Assassin by Joyce Carol Oates, A History of the World in Five Objects by S. J. Rozan, and Too Many Lunatics by Lucy Taylor are the first ones to come to mind), but there were others I just didn't care for. Not that they weren't well-written, I just didn't connect with them the same way I did with the others. Overall a strong showing and one I would still recommend, even with my lack of enthusiasm over some of the offerings.
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  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    CUTTING EDGE: NEW STORIES OF MYSTERY AND CRIME BY WOMEN WRITERS is a noir anthology edited by Joyce Carol Oates. It is a new offering by Akashic Books and has a similar format to its very popular and excellent Noir series. CUTTING EDGE differs in that it tells its ‘stories’ with a “defiantly female, indeed feminist, perspective”.“Is there a distinctive female noir? Is there, as some have argued, a distinctive female voice, differing essentially from the male voice?” (p.5)CUTTING EDGE answers CUTTING EDGE: NEW STORIES OF MYSTERY AND CRIME BY WOMEN WRITERS is a noir anthology edited by Joyce Carol Oates. It is a new offering by Akashic Books and has a similar format to its very popular and excellent Noir series. CUTTING EDGE differs in that it tells its ‘stories’ with a “defiantly female, indeed feminist, perspective”.“Is there a distinctive female noir? Is there, as some have argued, a distinctive female voice, differing essentially from the male voice?” (p.5)CUTTING EDGE answers that question with (I think) a resounding Yes.CUTTING EDGE includes a Table of Contents; an Introduction by the editor, Joyce Carol Oates; an About the Contributors Section (which is very interesting).The anthology is divided into III parts - - - Their Bodies, Ourselves - A Doom of One’s Own - Manslaying. There are 16 stories. One ‘story’ consists of 6 poems by Margaret Atwood.Contributors include: Livia Llewellyn, S.J. Rozan, Lisa Lim, Lucy Taylor, Edwidge Danticat, Jennifer Morales, Elizabeth McCracken, Bernice L. McFadden, Aimee Bender, Steph Cha, S.A. Solomon, Cassandra Khaw, Valerie Martin, Shelia Kohler, Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates.(Note: Lisa Lim is also the illustrator of her story.)The writing is mesmerizing. It is true noir with an intended female perspective. I was on the edge of my seat reading each story. Some of my own descriptions would include: suspenseful, realistic, terrifying, cruel, sinister, devious, squirm in my seat worthiness, comeuppances, revenge, hysteria, definitely cringe-worthy, scary, disgusting, murder, decapitation, truly evil, chilling, sad, revolting.Some of my mumbled comments include: “Get ‘Em!”, “This is sickening to read”, “Death always made her hungry”, I can’t really blame Claudia for the murders. Does that make me a murderer and a deranged lunatic, too?”, “ Why does this sh** always happen in trailer parks?”, “I can see Andrew’s soul leaving his body”, “I couldn’t/wouldn’t be that forgiving”, “Wow”, “Hard Life”, “ So pertinent”, “What are we talking about here? - Mermaids?, Fantasy?, Medieval torture?” “I am shivering and there is a fire in the heat stove”.I didn’t have a favorite story, although “One of these nights” was especially chilling and cold-blooded. They were all noir at its grittiest.My favorite poem was ‘Update on Werewolves’.Thank you to Akashic Books for providing me with an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of this book.
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  • Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    One of my favorite collection of short stories I've read in a long time! Wonderful poetry from Atwood, but Oates' story was probably my favorite of the entire collection. However, at the end of every story I always found myself wanting more, needing to be immersed in the worlds of these women just a bit longer. I would recommend for anyone that is interested in mysteries, crime, women committing crime, thrillers.
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  • Robyn Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Audible
  • Jennifer Morales
    January 1, 1970
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